There is a lot of talk about these times of eco, green and attention to the environment. According to eminent scholars, our planet is in danger, and the world of architecture and real estate must inevitably adapt and become more and more sustainable. They know this very well in Milan, given that the city is always at the forefront when it comes to new trends, and this is why the new MIND district (which we had already talked about in this article) will be the first zero-impact Italian district within 2025.
Just to give a measure of things, the Paris agreements and the European climate targets foresee the need to create zero-impact structures by 2030, but in Milan, as always, they are trying to do things big. This is why MIND (acronym for Milan INnovation District) will conclude its green transition five years in advance: the former Expo 2015 area, with its superhuman width of one million square meters, will be converted into a completely green project, that when fully operational it will see over 60,000 people live, partly residents but largely scientists, technicians, students and doctors, as important institutions such as the university scientific campus and the Galeazzi hospital will move here; they will be joined by over 35 large and medium-sized private companies.
A small city within the city therefore, which will come to life thanks to an enormous economic commitment, a maxi investment of 5 billion euros, partly publicly financed, but largely privately. The road is therefore that of decarbonisation, but at the same time MIND talks about fairness, legality and rights: the contracts signed with suppliers in fact provide for an explicit point that regulates the work of disadvantaged groups; some of the workers will also be incarcerated from the nearby Bollate prison, in a pilot project that also involved the Ministry of Justice.
MIND and the ESG strategy
Environment, Social and Governance, or in acronym ESG. These are the three cornerstones of responsible investment, in other words the unwritten rules governing the MIND project. Among the supporters of this new frontier of eco-sustainability stands out the consulting firm Plus Value, for which the founder Filippo Addarii spoke, confirming that at MIND “innovation and jobs are created, in a knowledge hub that will do good not only to the city of Milan, but to the whole country “. An example? A “pole of excellence linked to genome research” is being born at MIND, certainly not an everyday thing. And as if that weren’t enough, the neighborhood is “healthy, with large green areas, pollution-free and totally green“.
High social impact investments
In other words, MIND favors investments with a high social impact, in a race towards eco-sustainability already underway for some years now, not only in Milan but also in other areas of Italy, such as Treviso, for example, when the Grando hospital was renovated, thanks also to funds guaranteed by the European Investment Bank, which offered a very low rate to strengthen investments in the area; this savings was invested in 2020 in new structures to face the COVID-19 emergency.
This investment model was then replicated at MIND: instead of considering the reduction in the interest rate as a gain, the manager of the Lendlease project decided to reinvest this sum to reach the coveted goal of a zero-impact neighborhood. One might think that the reduction in the interest rate brings with it marginal savings, but on a huge-scale project like the MIND it has meant several million euros, given that the loans amounted to as much as 1.7 billion euros.